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Goldbarth, Albert.

34 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1567920179 / ISBN 13: 9781567920178
Published by David R. Godine Publisher, Inc., Boston, MA, U.S.A., 1994
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Joe Staats, Bookseller (Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed by author on title page in black fountain ink. GREAT TOPICS OF THE WORLD investigates everyday traumas and triumphs--the despairs, delights, and complexities of our lives--and places them in an historic, cosmologic context, in which Vermeer, Leeuwenhock, Amy Lowell, astronomers Kepler and Tycho Brahe, 'Krazy Kat' creator George Herriman, and the Golem-conjuring Rabbi of Prague reenact their legendary dramas. And recurring throughout is the more intimate leitmotif of Goldbarth's own life and that of his family: the parents who inadvertently fed their boy's fascination with the flotsam and jetsam of American pop culture; the grandparents whose emigration from the Old Country was like "landing on Mars"; and the author himself, standing midway between the lore of Middle Europe and the lure of the New World. At its core, GREAT TOPICS is about one of the great topics of the century: the cultural and personal collisions brought about by a world in migration. As new, in fine, mylar-protected dust jacket. NF46. Bookseller Inventory # 4188

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher, Inc., Boston, MA, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

About this title


A collection of personal essays explores everyday traumas and triumphs and draws on memories and events from the author's life and that of his family

From Publishers Weekly:

Poet Goldbarth's essays are singular hybrids, seamlessly melding autobiography, history, fantasy, myth. "Delft" features an imagined encounter between painter Jan Vermeer and microscopist Anton van Leeuwenhoek, set against a meditation on fleas which hops from the biblical plague to circus history. In "The History of the Universe Is Important to This Story," worldviews collide as astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler meet Rabbi Yehudah Loew of Prague, the presumed occultist of Golem legends, who creates a clay man to protect Jews from persecution. The sky-scanners' personal lives fold into Goldbarth's poignant recollections of his mother dying of cancer and his teenage affair with his best friend's half-sister. In "Worlds," the struggles of Goldbarth's grandparents, Polish Jewish immigrants on Manhattan's Lower East Side, run parallel to the antics of George Herriman's Krazy Kat comic strips, astronomer Percival Lowell's misidentification of "canals" on Mars, and Hopi cosmology. Death, eros, hope for the future and rueful wisdom are inseparably entwined in these wondrous essays full of intriguing lore and surprising connections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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